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Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital


Six Primary Care Providers Pilot Secure Messaging

Richard Burns, MD responds to a Secure Message from one of his patients.

Richard Burns, MD responds to a Secure Message from one of his patients.

By Richard Burns, MD
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In order to improve communication, I am happy to announce my team is offering Secure Messaging to my patients, along with five other providers: Drs. Adams, Fennel, Jawaid, Randoll and Helen Feldker, APN.  Secure Messaging through My HealtheVet is a web-based message system that allows participating VA patients and VA healthcare teams to communicate non-urgent, health related information in a private and safe computer environment.  Using the internet as an additional option to the phone will hopefully provide greater flexibility and convenience for our patients!

Remember, only six local providers are using Secure Messaging at this time.  Other patients who have an authenticated My HealtheVet account are eligible to participate in Secure Messaging once it has been adopted by their Primary Care team. 

In order to provide a timely response, each provider works within a small healthcare team or PACT (Patient Aligned Care Team) to answer a secure message.  For example, if one of my patients sends a message and would like to reschedule an appointment, the Medical Support Assistant on my team will respond.  If my patient has a new symptom and wonders if they should schedule an appointment, the message will go to my Care Coordinator initially. Together, we will decide what is the next best step.  My team has three business days to respond to a message, so this tool is not to be used for urgent or emergent issues.   Examples of this would include chest pain or breathing difficulty.

Patients who would like to start using Secure Messaging should:
1. Register on My HealtheVet.
2. Upgrade with In-Person Authentication.
3. Contact the My HealtheVet Coordinator, Andrea Wiggins, at (573) 814-6233 and ask if your provider is participating.


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